Stories

Wilhelmina’s Stables Square

3 minutes
stables square at Paleis Het Loo

In 1907 Queen Wilhelmina ordered new stables to be built, as the existing ones were old and much too small. Within two years the new stable block was complete. It was a very modern building, with central heating, gas, water, electricity and a telephone. The two large stables could accommodate 88 horses, and the coach houses had room for around 50 carriages, used for official occasions, hunting and drives around the woods that surround the palace. The 93-metre-long covered area with a wooden floor in front of the stables was for harnessing the horses to the carriages.

Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik would often visit the Veluwe moorland by carriage or sleigh while staying at their beloved Paleis Het Loo. Wilhelmina’s painting carriage was her mobile studio which she would use when she went out and about to paint. 

Hendrik bought his first car in 1908. But there was no room for cars in the stables, so a small garage was built behind, located out of sight at Wilhelmina’s request. The queen wanted nothing to do with these novelties. But in the years that followed Hendrik’s car collection grew, and Wilhelmina eventually consented to the construction of a new garage opposite the stables in 1914. It now houses a grand cafe known, appropriately, as prins Hendrik’s garage.